It hit me hard when Sharon Jones passed away a little over a year ago. Having grown up too late to experience Aretha Franklin's rise, becoming the undeniable Queen of Soul, I became vested as a fan in Jones's rise, particularly because it came late in her life after decades of working regular jobs (if you count jobs like working as a corrections officer at Rikers Island a regular job). She was a powerhouse of an underdog, continuing to plug away as she battled cancer. While still fighting it, she suffered the first of two strokes while watching the 2016 presidential election results, joking the next day that it was caused by Donald Trump's victory. She had a second stroke the day after that and died a little over a week later.
Live she was dynamic, barely coming up for air in a set that was close to a James Brown pace. It was a show; soul, funk and sweat beginning to end without letting up. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings are easily one of the top five bands I've seen live; tight, energetic, and able to fill a room with joy. You can't ask for more than that.
It's a Holiday Soul Party, her holiday themed LP was released in 2015. It's not your average holiday offering, I'll leave it at that.
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